Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Barack Obama

Mario Cuomo, the former governor of New York and an insightful and effective public servant, once said “You campaign in poetry, but you govern in prose.”

Barack Obama put together the best campaign I’ve ever seen. His ability to connect with audiences is god-given. His ability to navigate his positions and messages in a way that steers clear of trouble shows a highly skilled and calculated politician. The fact that so many people – from the majority of major newspaper columnists, to the working poor in metro areas, to Warren Buffett – jumped on board his campaign is a testament to his charisma and ability to connect. That he received a clear mandate (53%)from the American people in the popular vote is good for the country. It is time to move forward from this hard-fought campaign.

And for a moment last night, I stopped thinking about all the little policy things that I like or dislike about his platform, and enjoyed the fact that we had elected a candidate who could not have been elected a generation ago because of their race.

On January 21, Obama will take an oath to “protect and uphold” the Constitution of the USA. When he does, a new era will begin in America. Will it be great? Will it be a disaster? I don’t know, and neither does anyone else. What I do know is that Obama, while highly intelligent and articulate, is a leap of faith. I know that he is a great campaigner. But campaigning is to governing what interviewing is to performing on the job. Let’s hope we just hired a great worker, not the guy who has spent his time simply becoming an expert interviewer.

A leap of faith is not a bad thing. Americans decided yesterday that they didn’t want the known quantity. They decidedly said that they wanted freshness and excitement in office. Obama has engaged many people in politics, and that is good no matter which side of the aisle you are on. Obama has proven he learns quickly, and adapts to his constituency. This should help him govern from the center, something he will need to do if he truly wants to end the partisan bickering as he promises he does.

So here’s to wishing our President-elect luck and success. I hope he is the right person for these times. And I hope his prose is as good as his poetry.

1 comment:

  1. We have just been treated to the Big "O"s first bit of fodder... creating 2.5 million new jobs by changing the heating systems and light bulbs in government buildings and schools (

    Great... a bunch of professional janitors to change light bulbs. Those are high skill, high paying jobs.

    This plan is as good as filling our car tires with air.

    What a joke! If you've never heard of or seen an "educated idiot," then stay tuned for the next four years. You're sure to be schooled in why an academic isn't the best choice for President. But he's so smart!

    53%... some mandate.

    Our company is preparing to lay-off an additional 30% of its work force world-wide in preparation for this clown and the cronies in charge of Congress for the next two years. That unfortunately is no joke!